As many of you will already be aware, our Ten Thousand Hands café in Ladywell Fields was broken into at the weekend and equipment was stolen. This has been a tough end to what has been a challenging year for both us and the communities we have been working with.
That said, we are so humbled by the support of the community, who have rallied together to raise the funds needed to help us replace equipment and get the cafe ready to reopen in the new year. I would like to thank you all on behalf of the team, volunteers, Barry and Margaret Mizen and the many young people that benefit from our work for the emails, calls and messages of support we’ve been receiving over the past week.
First and foremost, our cafés are safe places for young people to turn to. They are our flagship Safe Havens. As you may know, they are at the heart of our work. After all, Jimmy was killed in our local shop. Over the next year, we have made a commitment to create 30 more Safe Havens. That means engaging with 75 socially and academically at-risk school children from three local schools, on a 12 week programme that works to build confidence, emotional resilience and the ability to manage anger and express oneself. Our cafés are also a way for us to raise funds to support this work and the robbery has now meant that we have a shortfall. While the current fundraising has covered part of the cost of equipment, security, as well as the damage caused by the robbery, we also need to consider the losses while the cafe is closed for the next month.
The support we have received so far has meant the burden of the café robbery has been lifted. However, the target has now been increased to £8k to cover the loss of earnings during the period of closure to help support our work building Safe Havens in our communities.
You can continue to donate to the campaign here.